August 8 2006, 6:04 AM
Today is primary day in Colorado. If you're a registered voter, don't waste the opportunity. Get to the polls and weigh in. The biggest race is that between Democrats Peggy Lamm and Ed Perlmutter in the 7th Congressional District. Both are Democrats vying for the seat being vacated by Republican Bob Beauprez who is runing against Bill Ritter for Governor. In November, the winner of today's primary will face Rick O'Donnell, a conservative with heavy support from both President Bush and Vice President Cheney. Herb Rubenstein is also in the race with Peggy and Ed, but his polling numbers are so low, he's not considered a likely winner. The Washington Post says national analysts "have pegged the 7th District, one of the country's most politically divided and competitive districts, as a top pickup opportunity for Democrats." The 5th District Race for the seat being vacated by Republican Joel Hefley also is signifcant. Here six Republicans are jockeying for the nomination and the winner will square off with Democrat Jay Fawcett in November. As for the intitatives that will make the November ballot, there are a few surprises:
Backers of a Referendum C rebate and bans on late-term abortion and domestic partnerships didn't turn in voter signatures by Monday's deadline, ending their bids to put the issues on the November ballot. But backers of heterosexual marriage, gay rights and marijuana did make the deadline, adding their measures to proposals that either are already on the ballot or awaiting approval by the secretary of state. Politically, the biggest stunner was the news that activist Jon Caldara abandoned his ballot proposal that would have let voters decide whether a portion of Referendum C money should be refunded to taxpayers.The marijuana initiative looks like a shoo-in:
The group trying to legalize possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana for anyone 21 and older submitted more than 129,000 signatures, almost twice the needed number. Many of those who signed petitions are "hard-working, middle-aged folks" from across the state, said Mason Tvert, director of Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation. "Many agree that punishing adults for using a substance less harmful than alcohol is an absurd waste of time, money and life," he said.More news on the referendums that made and failed to make the ballot is here and here . There are 47 precincts in and around Denver to cast your vote. The list is here. Voter turnout is expected to be light, which means your vote can have a big impact. Voting in a democracy is a privilege. The United States fights wars to bring the same privileges to those in other countries. Please don't pass up the opportunity.